Engineering Polymers - Europe November 2018
|Month: October 2018|
The EPS market registered a downturn in October on the heels of the lower styrene outcome. Players reported that October EPS deals have been concluded with decreases of €60-70/ton, mostly matching the styrene drop of €70/ton. Thin demand both in the packaging and insulation sectors amid sellers’ stock pressure also supported the softer trend. Plus, bearish expectations for November, confirmed by the hefty drop in the monthly styrene contracts settled with decreases of €170/ton pushed buyers to limit their fresh purchases in October. As for imports, meanwhile, offers continued to show up at competitive prices as low as €1430-1450/ton DDP, for Iranian material; however, they failed to attract buying interest from the converters’ side as they were offered in bags.
PA6 prices preserved their stable to slightly softer trend in October given balanced fundamentals and the October benzene contracts which settled down by €16/ton in Europe. Meanwhile, caprolactam contracts settled with decreases of €8/ton and €16/ton for October depending on starting point on the heels of the lower benzene contract in Europe. The low end of the overall PA6 range was slightly down in October, with a converter paying small decreases of €20/ton to his regular European suppliers and reporting a good end-product business. Sellers, meanwhile, concluded most of their October deals with rollovers and anticipate a similar trend in November as they don’t expect major changes in the market dynamics.
The PA66 market remained under pressure stemming from persistent tightness in the region. Prices witnessed rollovers to increases as was anticipated in the last month’s analysis. Most list prices emerged at or above the €4000/ton threshold in October and sellers reported low availability. A distributor of an European producer applied sharp increases of €400/ton in his October prices, following his supplier’s pricing policy and added, “Our allocations are extremely limited and tightness will not ease until the second quarter of 2019 due to the ongoing short ADN supply.” In the meantime, November butadiene contracts settled with a strong drop of €100/ton in Europe; however, the market is not expected to shift direction in November as the tightness stemming from ADN and PA66 output issues are expected to offset the weaker costs. Accordingly, players anticipate a new round of price hikes for the remainder of the year.
The PC market witnessed fresh decreases in the face of weaker demand and ample supply. Players reported that October deals have been mostly concluded with hefty decreases of €400-500/ton from September. Meanwhile, a distributor of a West European producer commented, “Producers are oversupplied now and demand is poor. Plus, the Chinese market is also slack and sentiment is weak.” Different sellers reported that they are still holding unsold stocks and they are under sales pressure. Material from South Korea has also been traded with decreases compared to September, although prices did not offer a competitive edge given the bearish trend in the local market.
PBT prices did not post any major changes in October and preserved their stable trend amid balanced market conditions. The rumors about the possible sellers’ hike attempts in October prices have not materialized yet as demand remained mostly steady despite the PA66 tightness, which was expected to push some buyers to shift to PBT. As for November, expectations are also calling for a mostly stable trend.
The POM market tracked a mostly stable trend; however, players reported that acetal resin supply was still rather short and a few distributors commented that some grades were tighter. Meanwhile, locally-held South Korean material was offered at €1800-2000/ton FD. As for November, expectations are centered on a mostly stable trend, with a few players predicting that prices on the low ends may slowly fade due to the tighter acetal resin in the region.
PMMA prices remained on a stable note in October, with players citing the balanced fundamentals while softer MMA prices have not led to a downturn yet. Looking ahead, players expect that the stable trend may be extended into November, citing the slightly lower MMA contracts which settled with small decreases of €8/ton for November at €875/ton FD NWE, while demand and supply conditions are expected to remain mostly balanced amid steady demand and improving PMMA supply levels.
The SAN market turned softer in October, following the lower styrene outcome in Europe. October deals have been mostly concluded with decreases between €40/ton up to €70-80/ton from September. Plus, the activities were thin in the midst of tepid demand and bearish expectations for November, which found confirmation by the sharp drop in styrene contracts settled €170/ton lower in Europe. In the import market, meanwhile, a buyer reported an offer for South Korean material at €1680-1700/ton, on DDP basis, standing €80-100/ton below the low end of the overall local range. However, the converter refused this offer, pointing to the long delivery terms, his slack end-product business and expectations to see massive decreases in the local market in November.
Price ranges reported include an average freight cost to the customers’ location as well as duties if applicable, although VAT is not included.
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